The prestigious Polar Music Prize this year to the German violinist Anne-Sophie Mutter and the American hip-hop pioneer Joseph Saddler, better known as Grandmaster Flash. The winners will each receive one million Swedish crowns (converted slightly less than 100,000 euros) at a gala in Stockholm on 11 June, in the presence of the Swedish king Charles XVI Gustav. The price has the status of the “Nobel prize of music”.
The viooltalent of Mutter came early to the area. At the age of 13, she laid audition with the famous conductor Herbert von Karajan, her mentor was. The year after she started with him and the Berlin Philharmonic orchestra to play. The 55-year-old Mutter has gained four Grammy’s on the mantelpiece. The violinist not only plays classical music, but also works together with contemporary composers specially for her pieces of writing.
The now 61-year-old Saddler is considered one of the pioneers of hip hop. The dj was born in Barbados and grew up in the Bronx in New York. With his group The Furiuos Five, he scored the early 80’s a big hit with ‘The Message’, in which, about the difficulties of life in the black ghetto’s done. “It is such an honor because in our culture what we do as dj’s often overlooked,” says Grandmaster Flash, in response to his award.
The Polar Music Prize is awarded normally every year two laureates, a pop musician and a performer of classical music. This year there are three, with a price for the Playing For Change Foundation, a grenzenoverschrijdend musical project with a large number of international musicians. The organization allowed itself to his own words, ” inspired by the award last year for the Afghan national institute of music.
The Polar Music Prize was founded in 1989 by Stig Anderson, the manager of the Swedish group ABBA. Previous winners are Paul McCartney, Bob Dylan, Paul Simon, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd, Dietrich Fischer-Dieskau and Isaac Stern.